Kanye West: “The Life of Pablo” Track-By-Track Review

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Yeezy Season Is Once Again Upon Us!

Another day, another Kanye controversy. Following his album presentation/fashion show, Kanye West has finally unleashed his newest album onto the world. “The Life of Pablo” is West’s seventh studio album; it follows his polarizing experimental album “Yeezus“.  Like his other projects, the influences are endless. Ranging from gospel to southern hip-hop, West jumps genres as much as he jumps around ventures. Speaking of side projects, Kayne’s newest collection in his Yeezy Season line debuted on February 11th. While the models (Naomi Campbell!) wore his fashion pieces, Kanye’s then unreleased album was their soundtrack. The evening was an unique spectacle only Yeezy can do!

Although the next morning, the album wasn’t on everyone’s lips…

Kanye West

The line “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/Why? I made that bitch famous” was the ONLY thing people took away from the event. The lyrics referring to Taylor Swift sent the internet into a tizzy. The reaction even made West tweet-rant! But controversy aside, a new Kanye West album has dropped & it should be reviewed as a piece of work with the mayhem not interfering.

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So join me below as I quickly break down each song on the new album “The Life of Pablo“!

  1. Ultralight Beams
    -The introduction to the album is an experience. Featuring an amazing guest verse by Chance The Rapper, the gospel inspired track firmly thrust you into this new world. Reaffirming his love of God, Kanye barely appears on the song but his influence can be felt throughout. Favorite lyric is from Chance with “I met Kanye West, I’m never going to fail”.
  2. Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1
    -Like the first song on the album, this song is once again about God. But unlike the first song, the song has lyrics referring to a model with bleach on her asshole. The first of many cocky songs on “The Life of Pablo“, the first part of Father Stretch My Hands is some of the most fun you’ll have while listening to this album.
  3. Pt. 2
    -Drastically different from Pt. 1, Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 2 is a fast paced & rapid-fire song filled with aggressive lyrics. You can see the passion Kanye has for this song as he bounced along during his fashion show in Madison Square Garden. The song is deeply personal but remains one of the most hyped songs as well.
  4. Famous
    -This is the song that includes the now infamous Taylor Swift line. Boisterous like any Kanye song should be; I find myself going back to this song for multiple listens. Rihanna sings the hook while Swizz Beats adds additional vocals & helps out with the beat. Famous is the type of Kanye that easily gets all the attention.
  5. Feedback
    Feedback has one of my favorite beats on the entire album. It’s wild and industrial influenced; I instantly think of West’s work on his “Yeezus album. My favorite line of this song and what I believe sums up Kanye as a whole is “Name one genius that ain’t crazy?!“. One of the best songs and a must-listen!
  6. Low Lights
    -Serving as the introduction to the next song Highlights, Low Lights is yet another gospel-heavy song. The long testimony is heavily inspired from a biblical verse. Another powerful track.
  7. Highlights
    -Talking about his 21 Grammys and the fact he could’ve been friends with Ray-J if they both didn’t love Kim; High Lights is Kanye West  at his most Kanye West. This is one of the most honest songs on the entire album even if it’s filled with boastful lines and “offensive lyrical content”. It also follows the heavy gospel tone as it starts with a religious monologue.
  8. Freestyle 4
    -Ominous & disturbing, Freestyle 4 is a sexually driven song where Kanye ask what would happen if he fucks at a Vogue party? I don’t think Anna Wintour would like that level of debauchery at one of her events. But that doesn’t stop this song from a rowdy tune that’s also quick and sleazy…much like sex at a Vogue party would be.
  9. I Love Kanye
    -If you thought Kanye West already talked about himself a lot, wait till you listen to I Love Kanye. The rapper brings up past fashion trends like his pink polos to his “sweet” earlier work. The song calls out the critics who don’t like the route Kanye took and their want for him to become his former self; in turn, he dismisses those claims and turns into a parody.
  10. WAVES
    -The song that delayed the album by an entire day, the late of addition of WAVES doesn’t add or hurt anything to “TLOP“. It’s a solid song featuring Chris Brown has giving his vocals to Kanye to make one of the most heartbreaking songs on the album.
  11. FML
    -Trying to make a moody R&B song in 2016? Just call The Weeknd. Kanye uses the powerful vocals of The Weeknd to talk about the fight with his enemies within himself & on the outside. FML is probably the most accessible song; I could see it used in trailers and maybe even on the radio.
  12. Real Friends
    -The first song in the relaunch of the G.O.O.D Friday series; songs released on the Fridays leading up to Kanye album release. Real Friends is a look into the life of Kanye in a personal way. With juggling work, family, fatherhood, & constant drama; the polarizing figure explains the struggle in his song.
  13. Wolves
    -Frank Ocean takes time from not releasing his album to add his wonderful voice onto Wolves. Previously released with Sia & Vic Mensa on the song, the new version of Wolves is another wonderful collaboration of West & Ocean. Look out the lyrics where Kanye compares his children Saint and North West to Jesus. Amazing…
  14. Silver Surfer Intermission
    -Named after a beloved Marvel character, this is a phone conversation stylized as a intermission for the album. Originally a song with Frank Ocean, the ever-changing album turned this into an introduction of sorts for 30 Hours.
  15. 30 Hours 
    -Released shortly after the album presentation in Madison Square Garden, Kanye released 30 Hours as late inclusion for the album. This is one of the most self-aware songs on the album. It seemingly makes reference to fights with exes to the morning after Kanye has a wild night out; was this all things just happened this month?!
  16. No More Parties In L.A 
    -Trading verses with Kendrick Lamar, this G.O.O.D Friday release sounds like that ‘Old Kanye‘ that was mentioned earlier. A classic hip-hop beat with familiar samples; Kanye pleads for his girl to stop throwing parties in L.A. and talks about him being the ‘backpack rapper’, which is a throwback Kanye reference.
  17. FACTS
    -2016 was the year Kanye West started a rivalry with the shoe brand Nike! Dropping Facts months before the album release, the song is about West’s successful partnership with ADIDAS & his problems with former partner Nike. The song made such a splash; Michael Jordan’s son came out in defense of the brand his father built. Did Yeezy jump over Jumpman
  18. Fade
    -With a tribal beat and heavy auto-tune, this aggressive callback to an early Kanye album “808’s & Heartbreak” closes the album on a high note. Heavily sampling Rare Earth’s “(I Know) I’m Losing You“, the funky Fade encapsulates the Kanye song just as much as the tonally different introduction Ultra Light Beams.

 

Kanye West

 

EJ Morenohttp://Vimeo.com/EJMoreno
Who is EJ Moreno? Is he a trained physician? No. Is he a former Miss Universe contestant? Possibly. With a bachelors degree in film and a love of pop culture, he brings an alternative view to the world of pop culture journalism. Follow him on Twitter @EJKhryst and check out his film work at Vimeo.com/ejmoreno

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